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The FitzOsbornes at War

(The Montmaray Journals #3)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  2,172 ratings  ·  330 reviews
Michelle Cooper completes her heart-stealing epic drama of history and romance with The FitzOsbornes at War.

Sophie FitzOsborne and the royal family of Montmaray escaped their remote island home when the Nazis attacked. But as war breaks out in England and around the world, nowhere is safe. Sophie fills her journal with tales of a life during wartime. Blackouts and the Bl
Hardcover, 560 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Alfred A. Knopf
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Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The third and final volume of the Montmaray Journals lands squarely at the intersection of what I wanted this book to be, and what I think it needed to be. Happily, those were not mutually exclusive outcomes, although “happily” feels like the wrong word to use. Because the ending of the trilogy was bittersweet, as most good endings are.

It’s difficult to review The FitzOsbornes at War in great detail because SPOILERS, and not just for this book but for all three, as they are very connected. Howe
Kaethe Douglas
December 12, 2013

This is Exhibit A in the case for adults reading YA. Like The Hunger Games, there's no wincing away from the horrors of war. There's a little bit of romance, but as in Rosamund Pilcher's The Shell Seekers or Coming Home, (which were not published as YA, but as women's fiction), the narrative remains focused on a young woman in wartime, and how that particular war dragged on so long that individuals held many different kinds of jobs and faced different kinds of hardships at diffe
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves historical ya books
Recommended to steph by: Jess
March 2020: I was sorry to close the page on Sophie and co. This 500 page book still made me laugh, gasp and cry. I really enjoying curling up with it and getting lost in her world and the horrific world of war world II once again. This series is a favorite.

Also kudos to the author for having bisexual/gay characters in her ensemble of characters. The reason I say that is because this was the first YA novel I remember reading that had LGBTQ characters portrayed prominently in it and while we hav
Apr 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, wwii
This was best of the trilogy, a sweeping and sometimes quite moving view of WWII from the perspective of the British home front. It was a book I was eager to return to after putting it down in a way that I haven't felt very often recently. However, given the power, I'd excise every mention of Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy, and the progress of her romance. This strand of the story was completely extraneous, awkwardly tacked on, and I felt as though Michelle Cooper was winking over Sophie's head wheneve ...more
Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers

3rd September 1939

I'm quite sure that, in twenty or thirty years' time, people will say about this morning, "I'll never forget where I was when I heard the news."

So begins The FitzOsbornes at War, with the news of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announcing that the country at long last is at war with Germany. Sophie FitzOsborne may be a princess, but she and the rest of her family have been in exile from their invaded homeland for two years. Wh
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, lgbt
The bar for any YA novel I'll read in the future is going to be very high after having finished this series.

My absolute favourite aspect was the narration, it defo takes the cake out of all the books I've read. Sophie is such an honest, observant, clever, open-minded heroine that even the most ordinary things are a delight to read about in her account.

The next best thing is the amount and complexity of the female characters, Sophie, Veronica, Julia, Henry, they are all AMAZING I loved them all!!
Miss Clark
May 28, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one. Ever.
Shelves: historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, ya
Sometimes I think I'm consistently giving books too many stars, so maybe now I'm just being overly harsh here. Maybe I really want to give this 3.5 stars, and round it up to 4? I did love bits of the sparkling dialogue, and the first two thirds especially were good with creating atmosphere.

Maybe the problem is that the book tries to cover too much in too short a space. The thing is, even though it made me cry, it still felt less substantial - more corporeal if not more light - than I'd expected
Shoshana G
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, I could keep reading Sophie's journals forever. ...more
Alex  Baugh
Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-2
The Fitzosbornes, royal family of that small fictional Channel island Montmaray, are back in this third and last book of the trilogy. As you may recall in Book I, A Brief History of Montmaray, the FitzOsbornes - Toby, Sophie, Henry (Henrietta), cousin Veronica and half cousin Simon - were forced by the Nazis to leave their island home and head for London.

And in Book II, The FitzOsbornes in Exile, we found them hobnobbing between London and their Aunt Charlotte's Milford Park estate in Dorset. Ho
Katharine Ott
"The FitzOsbornes at War" - written by Michelle Cooper and published in 2012 by Alfred A Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children's Books. This novel finishes The Montmaray Journals trilogy with a serious dose of World War II involvement - more detailed on the English home front than in the trenches. Prime Minister Chamberlain: "It is the evil things we shall be fighting against. Brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution. And, against them, I am certain that the right will ...more
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arianna by: herhairgrowsback on tumblr
4.5 stars, actually. This book is, by far, the best of the trilogy. It is the most exciting, the one that most of all will keep you awake at night to read more, because you need to know what's happening to the characters, you need to know that your favourites are okay - but then again, they all are your favourites because they're all flawed and terribly lovely for one reason or another. Except for Rupert, maybe, whose only flaw is his shiness and is entirely perfect in my eyes. Okay, back to the ...more
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristen Boers
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ending a series can be tricky. This final book in the ‘Montmaray Journals’ did everything right. The series follows the young royals of the (fictional) kingdom of Montmaray from the 1930’s to late 40’s. While the protagonists are fictional, plot points and supporting characters (the Spanish Civil war, the anti-Semitic movement in Britian, Churchill’s dismissal of the Channel Islands, the Kennedy family, the Mitford sisters) were very real. Sophie’s final story details her exploring class structu ...more
Deva Fagan
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-read
Loved this, best of a series that was already good. Sophie's voice continues to be wonderful and engaging, and the development of the characters is very rewarding after following them through the past books. It is World War II, though, so Bad Stuff happens. I didn't actually cry, but I got tight-throated at the end...

Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, 10, 2017, historical
This was really, really excellent. In fact, as I write this, I'm bumping it up from a 9/10 to a 10/10.

It was charming, grimm, lovely and devastating all at different times. Sophie remains a wonderful protagonist and her life through the war years feels very realistic as far as this reader, born so much later on the other side of the world, can tell.

Michelle Cooper has woven together real people and real history with her created places and characters expertly and she provides an afterword that ex
Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nina {ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ}
I both loved and hated this book, review soon.


This book does war justice. Sophie's near unbiased recount is very justified. I loved seeing the aspect of war from her perspective. I loved hearing her voice. I also loved that the main characters were not unaffected by the repercussions of war. I love and hated what happened to Toby. And Toby was an awesome character! I feel sorry that Henry didn't have the same amount of attention given to her as some of the other characters, but what
What a satisfying ending to a great series. I really loved Sophie. This book read like a journal, one much more interesting than mine, all the boring bits cut out. Sophie has such wit and a dry sense of humor. I found myself sharing snippets of the novel with a friend because it was just too funny not to share.

The history of the novel, WW2, I found extremely interesting. It showed a side to the war that I hadn't read before, one of mistakes and coverup and odd little nitches of expertise that I
In this long-awaited final (and huge) volume of Sophie's journals, Great Britain is at war, the FitzOsbournes have to adapt to changes and grow up. This story deals with the tragedies of war. It provides a very honest and accurate portrayal (sometimes too accurate when the dialogue comes right out of the mouths of real life people and history books) of WWII. It's horribly sad and tragic - one of the most depressing books I've read. However, as a story about the FitzOsbornes, it does an excellent ...more
Anne Stockwell
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had reread the first two books before reading this; it's definitely not a stand-alone and there is not much of a recap. I found it confusing at first, trying to remember who everyone was and what kind of history they had with the other characters, and that turned out to be quite important. I also wish I had not read the goodreads reviews first since one of them had a major spoiler with no warning whatsoever (very bad manners!) and so I knew one of the major plot twists before I started. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading the FitzOsbornes at War felt like catching up with old friends. Covering the WWII era from 1939 to 1948, this third book in the series is much longer than the other two, over 500 pages, but I never found myself skimming. The series began in the tiny, impoverished kingdom of Montmaray, a fictitious island off the coast of Spain and France, home to a crumbling castle and the dwindling royal family of the FitzOsbornes. Most of the adult FitzOsbornes are mad or dead, but the teenage members ...more
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review for Entire Trilogy

The title of this trilogy, The Montmaray Journals, refers to the written chronicle in which the protagonist, Sophie FitzOsborne, lets the readers in on her life on the island of Montmaray and her family’s experiences during World War II while residing in London and the family house in the English countryside. Her life differs greatly in all three locations as she and her family must try to cope with being forced out of their homeland and overlooked by the European commun
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's absolutely astounding to read such well-written, meticulously researched historical fiction. What a tour de force! And such fun to read, too!

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys drama, romance, family stories, adventure, or books with great writing and appealing characters. In other words, practically everybody. It will particularly appeal to -- let us say -- disillusioned former fans of "Downton Abbey," or people who enjoy other tales of the gentry in difficult circumstances, f
Mireille Duval
Oct 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ahhhh. I'm not sure why it took me so long to read it, because I loved it. It was very interesting to read an account of WWII from London - I don't think I had known about what was going on in that city before. I liked seeing the women get jobs, the rationing, the black-out, etc., I could have taken even more of those kinds of details. Toby's story also made for a really emotional ride. Romantically, (view spoiler) ...more
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Michelle Cooper writes novels for teenagers. She is the award-winning author of Dr Huxley's Bequest, A Brief History of Montmaray, The FitzOsbornes in Exile, The FitzOsbornes at War and The Rage of Sheep.

More Info:
Michelle was born in Sydney, Australia. She attended a succession of schools in Fiji and country New South Wales, then went to university in Sydney. She worked as a speech and language p

Other books in the series

The Montmaray Journals (3 books)
  • A Brief History of Montmaray
  • The FitzOsbornes in Exile

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